Simple Fitness Tips Anyone Can Do: Even You!. Ready to get healthy and slim? Use these tips to lose weight and look great in no time. We all want to be our fittest selves, but with so much advice floating around out there, it can be hard to hone in on what healthcare tips work. To make your life a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a number of our healthy go-to strategies, to help you reach your most ambitious fitness goals even quicker. We’ve written this article primarily with women in mind, but these tips are great for anyone who wants to improve their diet and fitness.
Say hello to H20
Fitness Tips #1: Whether you’re heading off to spin class, boot camp, or any other exercise, it’s always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and have your best workout. Electrolyte-loaded strong drinks, though, can be a source of unnecessary calories, so “drinking water is usually fine until you’re exercising for more than one hour.” At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks (and their calories), which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost. There are now lower- cal sports drinks available, so look out for them in your grocery aisles.
Find the best fitness friend
Fitness Tips#2: A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits these criteria. Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she or he supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your friend be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in critical workouts? If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.
Stock up on these
Fitness Tips #3: While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place these three diet-friendly items in your cart. Balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips—or as a tangier alternative to sour cream. Talk about a multitasker!
Relieve those achy muscles
Fitness Tips #4: After a grueling workout, there’s a good chance you’re going to be feeling it (we’re talking sore thighs, tight calves). Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath (50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; you may have to throw some ice cubes in to get it cold enough) for 10 to 15 minutes. Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions. And advice we love: An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery. Now that’s speaking our language!
Curb your sweet tooth
Fitness Tips #5: Got a late-night sugar craving that just won’t quit? “To satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think fruit first. So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you’re still on the right, healthy track.
Buy comfy sneaks
Fitness Tips #6: You shouldn’t buy shoes that hurt, bottom line! Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you’ll want to buy when they’re at their biggest. Also, make sure the sneakers are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that. They should be comfy from the get-go, but they’ll be even more so once you have a good 20 to 40 miles on them.
Pick your perfect tunes
Fitness Tips #7: Running with music is a great way to get in a groove (make sure it’s not blasting too loudly, or you won’t hear those cars!). To pick the ultimate iPod playlist, think about what gets you going. Many athletes listen to what we’d consider ‘relaxing’ music, such as symphony music, while they do a hard workout. So don’t feel like you have to download Lady Gaga because her tunes are supposed to pump you up—go with any music that you find uplifting.
When to weigh
Fitness Tips #8: You’ve been following your diet for a whole week. Way to go! Now it’s time to start tracking your progress (and make sure pesky pounds don’t find their way back on). It’s best to step on the scale in the morning before eating or drinking—and before plunging into your daily activities. For the most reliable number, be sure to check your poundage at a consistent time, whether daily or weekly.
Police your portions
Fitness Tips #9: Does your steak take up more than half your plate? Think about cutting your serving of beef in half. That’s because it’s best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of vegetables and fresh fruit so that it’s harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes (like cheesy potatoes or barbecue sauce–slathered ribs—yum!).
Combat cocktail hour
Fitness Tips #10: Is it ladies’ night? If you know, you’ll be imbibing more than one drink, always order water between cocktails. That way, you won’t rack up sneaky liquid calories (and ruin your inhibition to resist those mozzarella sticks!). But your H20 doesn’t have to be ho-hum. Make it festive by ordering the sparkling variety with plenty of fruit, like a lime, lemon, and orange wedge in a martini or highball glass.
Eat this, run that
Fitness Tips #11: When you have a 5- or 10K on your calendar, it’s essential to plan out what you’re going to eat the morning of the big day—something that will keep you fueled and also go down easy. While everyone is different, a high-carbohydrate breakfast such as a small bowl of oatmeal with fruit or a couple of pieces of toast with peanut butter or cream cheese is a good choice. And don’t worry about nixing your a.m. caffeine fix on race day. Coffee is great for athletic performances because it makes you sharper and may even give you extended energy. Talk about buzz-worthy!
Turn your cheat day around
Fitness Tips #12: Feeling guilty about that giant ice cream sundae you enjoyed at your niece’s birthday party? Don’t beat yourself up! It takes a lot of calories—3,500—to gain a pound of body fat. So really, that one off day doesn’t usually result in any significant weight gain. It’s about what you do the next day and the day after that’s important—so don’t stay off-track. So be sure to whittle away at those extra calories over the next day or two, preferably by boosting exercise rather than eating too little. Starvation is not the whole answer!
Run with this
Fitness Tips #13: Before you hit the road, make sure you’re packing these essential staples: a fitness tracker, an iPod with high amp-you-up music, cell phone if you don’t mind holding onto it, and a RoadID (a bracelet that includes all your vital info). And on a sunny day, wear sunglasses. They reduce glare, which can decrease squinting, ultimately releasing the tension in your shoulders. And that’s a performance bonus because relaxing them helps conserve energy on your runs. Hey, we’ll take a boost where we can get it!
Be a weekend warrior
Fitness Tips #14: You’ve been following your diet plan to the letter, but enter the weekend. To deal with three nights of eating temptations (think: birthdays, weddings, dinner parties), up your activity level for the week. For instance, try taking an extra 15-minute walk around your office each day. Then, go on and indulge a bit at the soiree, guilt-free. Another party trick? Enjoy a 100-calorie snack before a celebration, which can help you eat fewer munchies at the event.
Fun up your food
Fitness Tips #15: It’s easy to get in a diet rut, even if you’re loading up on delicious fruits and veggies. The solution? Have plenty of spices, fresh herbs, and lemons at your cooking beck and call. It’s amazing what a little dash of spice, a sprinkle of herbs, pinch of lemon zest, or squirt of lime juice can do to liven up a dish—and your diet. The best part: They contain almost no calories. Experiment with your dinner, tonight!
Up your exercise
Fitness Tips #16: How do you know when to increase your activity? The general rule of thumb is to up the number of miles run by 5 to 10 percent each week. See the training schedule at Health.com/yes-you-can, which guides you on how to increase your mileage.
Have a fruity ice cream sundae
Fitness Tips #17: Next time your family or friends decide to make an ice-cream run, don’t worry about being left out of the fun! Order a fresh (and super-refreshing) ice cream sundae, piled high with diced kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries. You’ll get a serving of delicious fruit—no hefty calorie-laden toppings required.
Swap out your shoes
Fitness Tips #18: While we’ve all heard that running shoes break down after logging lots of miles (about 300 to 350), you may still be holding on to your favorite pair. Not a good idea. Glue tends to break down under ultraviolet light, as do the other materials that make up the shoe. So even if your sneaks have only 150 miles on them but are more than two years old, recycle them because chances are they’ve already started deteriorating. And as a rule of thumb, always keep tabs on how many miles you’ve logged on them—tedious, but hey, you’ll be proud of how far you’ve gone.
Snag the right support
Fitness Tips #19: Sure, your yoga sports bras work great for the downward dog—but when it comes to running, you’ll need one that’s designed to lock them in for all that pavement pounding. So what should you look for? “The best sports bras are loose around the chest so you can expand your ribs and diaphragm more effectively. But they should also be form-fitting. Just make sure the cup is made of a comfy material (like a soft compression fabric; look for descriptions that include the terms “breathability” and “compression”)—you don’t want to be itching at mile two!
Relieve those side stitches
Fitness Tips #20: You know it: a sharp pain just below the rib cage that always seems to pop up when you’re working out your hardest. It’s called the side stitch, and it can be a significant nuisance—especially when it keeps you from completing a workout. To ease the ache (so you can get on with your run), take your fist and press it beneath your rib cage while taking deep breaths from your belly for about ten steps. In about 30 seconds, the pain should subside so that you can get on back to (fitness) work.
Shake your way slim
Fitness Tips #21: Sick of that elliptical or bike or workout DVD? That means it’s time to mix up your routine! Our favorite way: Break a sweat by moving and shaking. Just make a playlist with your favorite “cut a rug” tunes then turn up the volume, and start breaking it down. For even more fun, invite some friends over and get grooving (and laughing). The best part is that you’ll burn about 200 to 600 calories per hour. Now that’s something to shimmy about!
Fuel for fitness
Fitness Tips #22: Planning on picking up the pace tomorrow? Eat food that will help keep you going strong. For breakfast, opt for a high-carbohydrate meal—one similar to what you’ll be eating on race day, so you can find out what foods digest best (for you!). Try a whole-grain English muffin or a bagel with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Then, have an excellent meal post-workout to help with recovery. Our favorite is one to two slices of French toast with a side of fruit. The protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is perfect for enhancing your recovery.
Say goodbye to peer pressure
Fitness Tips #23: Even if you’ve been eating right on track, it may be tough to stay on track if your partner, coworkers, or friends don’t share your healthy-eating habits. What to do? If your partner loves pizza, try ordering a pie that’s heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese—then supplement it with a side salad. Or, if your friends are having a night out, suggest a restaurant that’s got healthy appetizer options, instead of the typical fare of onion rings and cheese dip. And at work, instead of Friday baked-goods day, suggest a Friday “make it healthy” day, and swap in baked pears with cinnamon or mini fruit-and-nut muffins for brownies and blondies.
Savor your carbs
Fitness Tips #24: When trying to slim and trim, you may be tempted to take drastic measures like cutting out your carbs. But before you go and add dinner rolls and chips to your “no” list, remember that yummy foods like brown rice, pumpernickel bread, and even potato chips contain Resistant Starch, a metabolism-boosting carb that keeps you full for longer. And that’s great for maintaining a fit you because you won’t have to eat as much to feel satiated. So go on, rip open that (single-serve) bag of Lays!
Ditch your working lunch
Fitness Tips #25: Munching on your lunch while at the computer could lead to mindless grazing, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who ate their midday meals while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who hadn’t been gaming. So carve out 20 minutes a day and eat in your conference room (or outdoors!). Your whittled waistline will thank you.
Fitness Tips #26: There’s no denying it: Getting the fresh air from exercising outdoors is excellent! But along with it, you also get the harmful UV rays. To keep yourself shielded while still having fun in the sun, opt for a sweat-proof screen with SPF 30 or higher, a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher, a lightweight hat, and sports shades. Also, consider trading in your white tee and going for a shirt with built-in UV protection (a rating of 30 UVP is necessary to be awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation’s “Seal of Recommendation”). And remember, the rays are at their brightest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Slim up your snack
Fitness Tips #27: It’s hard to avoid that 3 p.m. stomach rumble when nothing can stand between you and the office vending machine. And while it’s okay to eat something to hold you over until dinner (in fact, we encourage it!), some choices will help you keep on your weight-loss track—while others can surely derail you. So at the vending machine, instead of choosing that ever-so-tempting pack of Twizzlers, try a 100-calorie cookie pack or a Nature Valley granola bar. Better yet, bring a snack from home!
Find healthy fast food
Fitness Tips #28: Have to work late tonight and need dinner—in a hurry? Not to worry. If you find fast food is your only option, pull up the restaurant’s nutrition facts online before you go; you can make an informed decision ahead of time about what to order. Nearly every quick-service restaurant has a relatively healthful option or two. We’re thinking salads, chili, or grilled chicken.
Be a mighty maintainer
Fitness Tips #29: The end is here! Three cheers for all your hard work. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to put on the brakes. To maintain your weight, you still have to make those smart choices at restaurants, work, and home. Look into getting a diet confidante, who you can chat with once a week about your eating highs and oh-no’s. And stick to using that scale so you can be proactive if a few extra pounds creep back on. Don’t let your exercise routine change, either, because even if you don’t have any more pounds to lose, you’ll still be working out your heart.
Up your fiber intake
Fitness Tips #30: Along with protein and good-for-you fat, fiber is one of those nutrition elements that keep you full and fueled all day long. And if you’re trying to get fit and shed pounds, fiber is your best friend. In fact, in one American Heart Association study, participants who were consuming 30 grams of fiber a day ended up losing weight and improving their heart health. So when it comes to staying healthy and slim, aim for that 30-gram fiber goal!
Work out in the morning
Fitness Tips #31: Sure, it can be a pain to drag yourself out of bed for a morning workout. But according to a study from Appalachian State University, opting for a 45-minute a.m. sweat session could cause a metabolic spike, helping your body continue to burn an additional 190 calories throughout the day.
Have a hearty breakfast
Fitness Tips #32: By now you’re probably tired of hearing how breakfast is the most important meal of the day—but this piece of advice couldn’t be more real! In one study completed at the Imperial College of London, participants who skipped breakfast were more tempted to reach for unhealthy, high-calorie foods later in the day. And in case you need more evidence to eat that a.m. meal, further research found that women had a more significant drop in ghrelin (the hunger hormone) when they ate a hearty breakfast versus a smaller one.
I hope you found this article to be helpful and inspiring. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions on any of the content on my site, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions and the sharing of ideas.
Note: Thank-you for supporting this website with the purchases you make through the provided affiliate links.